Texas Textbook Controversy

5455 WordsFeb 18, 201322 Pages
------------------------------------------------- Texas textbook controversy- Analysis Kim Stevenson Eastern New Mexico University CI 531 1WW March 3, 2013- Abstract: Ever since the 1960s, the Texas textbook controversy has had an issue in America. The Texas school board is meeting to make revisions to their textbooks and curriculum. But are they also revising history? Educators across the country are watching to see the effect this issue will have on students. The choices the board members are making will affect politics, religion, monies spent thru-out the Texas school system. Christian conservatives on the state education board want curriculum changes. Parents and student would like the curriculum to remain the same, or not…show more content…
All of which—plus a natural supply of political eccentrics—helps explain how Texas once had a board member who believed that public schools are the tool of the devil. Texas originally acquired its power over the nation’s textbook supply because it paid 100 percent of the cost of all public school textbooks, as long as the books in question came from a very short list of board-approved options. The selection process “was grueling and tension-filled,” said Julie McGee, who worked at high levels in several publishing houses before her retirement. “If you didn’t get listed by the state, you got nothing.” On the other side of the coin, David Anderson, who once sold textbooks in the state, said that if a book made the list, even a fairly mediocre salesperson could count on doing pretty well. The books on the Texas list were likely to be mass-produced by the publisher in anticipation of those sales, so other states liked to buy them and take advantage of the economies of scale. “What happens in Texas doesn’t stay in Texas when it comes to textbooks,” said Dan Quinn, who worked as an editor of social studies textbooks before joining the Texas Freedom Network, which was founded by Governor Ann Richards’s daughter, Cecile, to counter the religious right. The cost for the Texas textbooks? As a market, the state was so big and influential that national publishers tended to gear their books toward whatever it wanted. Back in
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